Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Myanmar (18 - 26 Feb 2015)

Visa application

1) Make an appointment via online

2) Get an email reply and fill up the application form

3) Go to the Myanmar Embassy to submit the application forms and the required documents in the morning. Collect in the late afternoon.

$45 for the visa

Changed USD at the rate of 1.3565 SGD to 1 USD

Good reference:
- https://www.youtube.com/user/BurmaBites
- http://migrationology.com/2014/08/41-photos-of-yangon-myanmar/
- http://www.southeastasiabackpacker.com/10-must-try-foods-myanmar-burma
- http://www.go-myanmar.com/
- http://grrrltraveler.com/sightseeing/getting-around/things-to-do-yangon-myanmar/
- 旅行日記


Flight details:

I paid the high price of the flight due to Chinese New Year period and at the very last moment. The price could have been cheaper

Flight DetailsBooking Date: 6 Feb 2015
DateFlight NumberDepartingArriving
Wed 18 Feb 20153K583
Airbus A320
Flight Duration:  2hr 25min
Wed 18 Feb 2015
1720 hr / 5:20 pm
Changi Airport - Terminal 1
Siem Reap
Wed 18 Feb 2015
1850 hr / 6:50 pm
Yangon International Airport - International Terminal
Thu 26 Feb 20153K582
Airbus A320
Flight Duration:  2hr 0min
Thu 26 Feb 2015
1145 hr / 11:45 am
Yangon International Airport - International Terminal
Thu 26 Feb 2015
1620 hr / 4:20 pm
Changi Airport - Terminal 1
Cost: $643.04SGD

Singapore to Yangon International Airport (Credits to Google Maps) is about 2.5hours.

18 Feb 15

Departure 3K583

Good bye Changi Aiport

I love the beautiful clouds

Nice sunset

Arrived at Yangon International Airport at about 6:50pm and I had to rush to catch my bus for Bagan which will depart at 8pm. A very risky move indeed.

Originally wanted to get the Ooredoo SIM card for Internet, but due to the rush, I decided to quickly grab a taxi. Very lucky to make it in time.

Bus to Bagan from Aungmingalar Highway Bus Station by JJ Express

Nice lightings in the bus

Light snacks

It is amazing how the staff were able to serve hot drinks on the bumpy bus

At pitstop

19 Feb 15


Arrived at the Bagan bus station at about 4.50am, having a hot coffee to warm the body first.

A bad choice of not booking an accommodation in advance, I had to settle for a very basic room for USD$12 a night

No wifi, not even hot water shower

Was told there's free Wifi at the nearby Shwezigon Pagoda


Morning coffee again


Burning rubbish

Monks queuing up

Shwezigon Pagoda

E-Bike rental for 8,000 kyats


Bagan Nan Myint Tower, entry for USD$5 with a welcome drink at level 9 restaurant which has good Wifi.

Panoramic view at level 11

Mani Sithu Market

Ananda Phaya

Applying Gold leaf

Shwesandaw - The famous location for sunset


Dinner that cost only 2,500kyat and a 500kyat for Coke.

GPS track for the day

20 Feb 15

Bagan to Mandalay

Pioneer Cruises Travels & Tours, Check-in time is 5:00AM and departure time is 5:30 AM. USD$35

MGRG jetty

Boarded the ferry

Hot coffee, tea and toast were available for breakfast


Burmese flag

Ayeyawady Bridge (Pakokku)


Planning for next destination

Testing depth of water

The Inwa Bridge

Arriving at Mandalay

Assorted skewers for BBQ

Met a fellow Singaporean, Dinner for 3,700kyats

Cat at YoeYoeLay homestay

Night walk to see the life at Mandalay


21 Feb 15


Nice breakfast at Yoe Yoe Lay


Cat who loves beehoon

Motorbike tour

Sandamuni Pagoda

Found cute puppies

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Atumashi Kyaung

Mandalay Archaeological Zone fee of USD$10 that can be used at various sites

Shwenandaw Kyaung

Going up the Mandalay hill. Although reviews state that it is possible to go up by foot, I wouldn't recommend that.

Camera fee

Nice view


Su Taung Pyi Pagoda

Royal Palace

View from the watch tower

King Galon Gold leaf workshop show room & Sale Centre

Lunch at Amarapura area

Silk making workshop, but was quite empty

Took a 5min boat ride for 800kyats to Innwa

5,000kyats for a motorbike tour around for more temples, Payas, Stupas and Pagodas. Horsecarts are available at 8,000kyats


Bagaya Monastery

The Watch Tower (about 30m), too bad cannot access up due to unstable structure

Mahar Aung Mye bon San monastery

Made use of the Adidas app to track the motorbike tour (5,000kyats) at Innwa

The Irrawaddy Bridge (also Ayeyarwady Bridge, Yadanabon Bridge, Yadanar Pone Bridge or New Ava Bridge)

Pon Nya Shin Pagoda, Sagaing Hills

Little monks

U Bein Bridge

So many people waiting for the sunset shot

Chicken briyani dinner at Karaweik Cafe.

Girl at YoeYoeLay

JJ Express Bus station location: D- 4, Kywesekan Bus Station which is further away from what I expected

Overall movement in Mandalay, Amarapura, Innwa and Sagaing. The day motorbike was 25,000kyats by Kung Naing (09256121312), excluding the meals I paid for along the way

22 Feb 15

Inle Lake

having to swap bus half-way... at about 4.10am

Outside temperature is so cold

Arrived in Nyaung Shwe about 5am

Pay fee again

Walking around to find a place because we didn't make any reservation

We finally settled for Friday Inn

Breakfast at the rooftop

The room (25,000 kyats)

Boat ride for 18,000 kyats. Managed to split the cost with Michael and Niti

The boatman

Interesting structure

Fisherman posing for photos and asking tourist for money


Silverware making

Hand-made cigar

Lunch - Chicken noodle soup

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Artist at work

Children leading us up the hill

Improvisation on a broken slipper

Inn Thein

Men repairing the water walls

Long neck

Floating gardens

The Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (Jumping Cat Monastery). The kitties no longer jump to entertain tourists.


Toast to new friends



Back to Friday inn

23 Feb 15


Street snacks

Fresh tomatoes

Spider webs

Local market walk

Fish stall

Young girl cooking our lunch

Lunch (7,100 kyats divided by 2)

Took a bicycle (1,000 kyat) rent to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards & Winery



Watermelon fo 1,000 kyats

Dinner for 2,500 kyats

JJexpress bus to Yangon

Simple meal at the pitstop

24 Feb 15

Taxi drivers crowding around the bus the moment it arrives which can be quite overwhelming

Arrived at Yangon's Aung Mingalar Highway Bustop

Simple breakfast

Walking toward Mingalardon Railway Station


200 kyats for the Circular Train

Connecting the trains

The train ride started off quite empty

Starting to get crowded...

Arrived at Yangon Central Railway Station

High Court

Backpacker Myanmar - take note that the Google is different from the exact location

Panoramic view

They say "all roads lead to Sule Pagoda"

Sule Pagoda: 3,000 kyats entry fee

Roundabout of Sule Pagoda

Independence Monument, Maha Bandula Garden with Yangon City Hall in the background


Bogyoke Aung San Market

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Unfortunately, unable to enter the Pegu club

National Museum

Bogyoke Aung San Museum

Chaukhtatgyi Reclining Buddha

Burmese royal barge at Karaweik garden, Kandawgyi Park


Skipped dinner, going to sleep early... Fell sick...

25 Feb 15


Market place at 26th street

Meat store

Yangon General Hospital has a nice building

Park next to Shwedagon

West entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda

Going up the escalator to security check with x-ray machine and walk-through-metal-detector

Shwedagon Pagoda

Collecting water for blessing



Moving to the night

Mini Ferris wheel





26 Feb 15

Taxi to airport

Yangon International Airport

Prepare to take off


More pictures:
- Bagan, Myanmar (18 & 19 Feb 2015)
- Mandalay, Myanmar (20 & 21 Feb 2015)
- Nyaung Shwe, Inle Lake, Myanmar (22 & 23 Feb 2015)
- Yangon (24 - 26 Feb 2015)

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